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Old 30 April 2011, 06:43   #10
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Join Date: May 2009
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Originally Posted by Claw22000 View Post
Intel wasn't alowed to patent the number hence there change to pentium.
Trademark, not patent

The purpose of trademarks is to protect branding (and they last as long as you keep using them, unlike a patent which runs out after a number of years). The problem was people like AMD were releasing chips with the 386 486 numbers, and when it went to court the judge says, yes they can do that because you can't trademark a number.

The effect was that Intel was spending money marketing their 386, 486 etc 'brand', and other companies were piggy-backing on this. The judge said that there was nothing legal to stop this. So, Intel said feck this for a game of skittles, and spent big moola making and promoting their new 'Pentium' brand.

Now since they couldn't use numbers of the chips to say 'bigger number = better' they started to put more emphasis on the other numbers like clock speed. Pretty much until the early P4s and the Pentium M, it was always the case that bigger number = faster CPU.
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